Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Abandonment Issues

Lately I've been spending a lot of time on the Moon Guard server, even going so far as to make my first transfer -ever-, sending a druid from Venture Co. to Moon Guard. I'm enjoying myself for the most part but I feel a sense of guilt for leaving the server I've been playing on for near three years.

I've wandered back to Venture Co occasionally over the past two months only to find my RP guild there falling apart and RP in general having trouble. Is this a symptom of every RP-PvP server, to be taken over by non-RPers?

I guess I will have to do my best to remember the golden age of my old home (though I use that term loosely, as I still made alts everywhere else), when the server was new and had not been invaded by a bunch of 'pro' raiding guilds who apparently couldn't hack it on their home server, and came to VeCo to be the big fish in the little pond.

But I'm not bitter.

In any case, I'm hoping to convince some friends from there to transfer over. There are still lots of RPers on Venture Co, but RP has gone the way of Christianity during Roman rule: it's done in secret and only among certain groups. Never in public, either.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Advertisement for Hellcat Syndicate

Server: Moon Guard
Character: Lirit, leader of the Hellcat Syndicate

A woman walks through the darkness of Old Town, the greasy windows of the district illuminated behind her. Shouts and laughter ring out from the Pig and Whistle as drunken men stumble into the street. The woman sidesteps into an alley, pulling the brim of her hat low across her eyes. She glances pensively back, the Command Center slumbering darkly and quietly behind her.

She stops at a shop’s door, closed up for the night. A careful look down the alley—she ensures she is not witnessed before gently scratching at the rough-hewn door. Smooth as silk, it turns open on its hinges, allowing just enough space for the woman to pass through. Inside, a man shuts the door again, the dull lantern flame reflecting against his balding skull.

He secures the door while the woman hops up onto the shop’s counter, perching comfortably as she removes her hat. Long cerulean locks tumble down around her shoulders and glowing eyes flash in the dimness of the room. She grins widely.

“Hello Sid, thanks for letting me in tonight,” she says, clasping her hands over one knee.

“Well, you know. Anything I can do to help,” he replies, mockingly obsequious. He slips behind his counter, continuing to inventory his wares during her visit.

“I’ve started advertising, with you bein’ our middleman as we agreed. I trust you’ll be able to get wind of any interest to me or Raven?” the elf says, turning on her hip to idly help him sort the various herbs laid out on the counter.

“Right you are, right as rain as long as you get that stuff to me, Lirit,” he says, scooping several stems into a parchment envelope and labeling it.

“Willow’s got it all ready to go for you, Sidney. You know we’re good on our word,” Lirit sniffs, allowing her annoyance to seep slightly into her words. “But what about your apprentice, Wright?”

He laughs, brushing his palms across his legs. “Bah, don’t worry about him. He’s under control.”

Lirit nods, squeezing a dark leaf, her fingertips stinging pleasantly as its juices are released. “I trust ya. You know where to leave mail for us. Just have ‘em write down their interest and pass it on.”

She collects her hat, tucking her hair underneath it again and exits with a nod, leaving The Five Deadly Venoms behind her as she slips again through the alley. She passes a small notice tacked up in the street—one of several posted in the seedier parts of Stormwind.

If you have problems, we will solve them.
Send inquiries to M.S., 5DV.

That's right. I've started a guild. Heaven help me, I have no idea what I am doing, but so far it seems to be working out alright.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Momma Didn't Raise No Ho

First of all, I haven't written lately due to the holidays, so sorry for that.

But down to the matter at hand. WoW Whores. You've seen them around Goldshire; you know what I'm talking about! With guild tags that include the word "courtesan," "serve," "lustful," or "ladies of the evening." Their RSPs label them as streetwalkers, 'for sale,' or even come right out and say they are a prostitute. E-prostitute. Whatever.


While I don't really care for this unsavory side of Elwynn Forest, I go by the adage "live and let live." The whole ERP thing never really fazes me because most of my characters don't have romantic relationships. Either they had a love they lost in the past, aren't interested in general, or are dating some NPC. Though I know it can be fun, relationship RP is something that just doesn't usually appeal to me.

Anyway, I'm not going to get into the ethics of ERP, because as far as I'm concerned, do what you want! Just keep it private. Easy as pie. However, the other evening someone took it upon themselves to begin harassing me about being a cyber slut and 'probably being a man IRL.'

I was walking across one of the channels on my new alt. She had a dress on. It got me to wondering if all lower level Nelfs in a dress were lumped into the 'Goldshire Dancer' category. Unfortunately, this harassment wasn't over whispers. He was very vocal about his opinions of me. I was able to call him out privately and get him to apologize, but it doesn't change the fact that anyone standing in /yell distance that day got a bad impression of me. xD

This particular character is somewhat of a flirt, it's true. She's shifty and rogue-y. But does that constitute a streetwalker? It's somewhat of a hypocritical notion, really, considering that many nice guys I RP with are somewhat flirty themselves. I've never been offended by it because they know that my character is not interested, but that doesn't stop them from making offers to me (or to other females, actually).

It makes me wonder. The moment I develop an assertive, vocal, and charismatic character who isn't afraid to approach someone and ask them to buy her a drink (or approach someone and tell them to shut the hell up, for that matter), she is labled the same as that draenei death knight dancing naked on the table. It goes to follow, then, that if you want to be a 'respectable' RPer as a girl, you can't mention ANY sort of flirty quality whatsoever in your RSP.

So say a girl wants to have a good looking character. Good luck trying to describe this quality in the RSP. You will be forced to dance around the subject, implying things but never saying them out loud. Though I realize a strong female character should be more than a Barbie doll, is it wrong if some girl wants to portray their character as strong AND decent looking? Strong, beautiful women exist IRL, such as Beyonce over there. Or Princess Diana. Or Queen Hatshepsut. Oh! Here's a good one. Rani Laximbai.

In a fantasy world such as the World of Warcraft, smart, capable, and beautiful women shouldn't be that farfetched. I mean, look at the female heroines in the lore. Tyrande? Alexstrasza? Jaina? Sylvanas?

I'd like to see some idiot go up to Alexstrasza and accuse her of being a whore. Really, I would. I would also like to be there to watch as she catapults them off the top of Wyrmrest Tower.

I'd like to wrap up this tirade by stating that it is not only SOME men who further this viewpoint. It is also some women. Rightfully, we don't want our characters to come off as ladies of a dubious nature. If we do, we're very upfront about it, as some of the RSPs in Goldshire evidence. However, we should come together and realize that hey! I'm playing a freaking night elf! I should be able to kill someone seventeen different ways and STILL look good while doing it, all without compromising my moral and ethical standing because some TWIT is too insecure about his/her own sexual nature to realize that no, just because my character winked at you does not mean she will e-sleep with you. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Profile: Jack the Bone Trader

Character: Jackkal
Server: The Venture Co.

This tough girl was my first 'serious' roleplaying character. Originally, Jackkal (or Jack) was a stereotypical rough and tumble rogue. A breaker of hearts and a thiever of moneys. She was one of the boys, to a tee. But gradually she began to take on a life and a story, and to this day she is my favorite of all characters I've ever played. She is my 'main' at the moment, but I don't play her or develop her as much as I'd like to these days.

If I had a computer good enough to handle machinima, the poster would look like this:

Click on it to enlarge.

Jack (born as Mary Wainwright, but she would put a dagger through you if you found that out, much less called her that to her face) starts her story out as a member of the Wastewander tribe. You know. Those bandits you kill in droves while out in Tanaris, working for the goblins? The premise is that while the Wastewanders shed no tears over raiding the goblin caravans (being basically land pirates), they have commandeered the waterstations in the desert to prevent the total monopoly of Gadgetzan over the dunes of Tanaris. And to make a profit, of course. We are talking about bandits, here.

Of course you as a player can't possibly suspect this. Consequently, Jack has a deep seeded hatred of goblins (and spends a fair amount of time slaughtering them). I as a player sometimes forget this and try to land in Booty Bay or Ratchet. Sigh...

Jack and her lifetime pal Kahlil spend their days leading a band of Wastewanders against the various trade routes through the desert, sometimes working with the coastal pirates to dominate the flow of goods. However, after their charismatic leader (one Caliph Scorpidsting) is killed by mercenaries from Gadgetzan (read: you, the player... dirty bastards!), she and the remainder of the Wastewanders are forced to scatter. Jack and Kahlil find saftey within the ranks of the Southsea Pirates, who the Wastewanders have allied with on occasion.

They live the pirate life for awhile, eventually finding themselves in Booty Bay, where they are nearly picked up by goblins yet again. The two flee the port town into the jungles, where they have a hard time dodging trolls, raptors, murlocs, and all sorts of hazards. Kahlil and Jack, being longtime friends, develop a romance during this time.

They eventually find their way to Stormwind City, where they eke out a living in the underworld. Their romance is short lived. Kahlil becomes involved with the Defias and finds himself in the Stockades. He counts on Jack to weasel him out of it, but she isn't able to help him without implicating herself by association. She leaves him to face his fate, and he goes into captivity full of resentment towards her.

Desert Girl in the Big City

"Anyway… I ended up in Stormwind after workin’ on a Southsea outfit. Made my livin’ liberatin’ rich cityfolk from their valuables. I ain’t ashamed so don’t give me that look! If you’re too blind an’ prideful to mind yourself, you don’t deserve what you got. Noble Houses… heh, they’re the most corrupt of all! I’d be stealin’ ‘em blind with one hand whiles they’re stackin’ gold in the other, payin’ me to off some poor wretch they got the evil eye on.

What? I’m not really appreciatin’ the look on your face. I got some morals! I ain’t never held my daggers toward them that can’t defend themselves, or them that didn’t have it comin’ so you can wipe that righteous glare right offa your face before I do it for you! Cripes.

City life wasn’t ALL bad. I did make some friends. Some blondie priest, a gnome carryin’ a sword taller than he was, a stuffy matriarch type with a penchant for plate armor… but after a few years I’d worn out my welcome in the Noble Houses and felt like maybe the Stockades weren’t great accommodations for me, a gal of exactin’ taste such that I am."

-Excerpt from "A Candid Conversation with Jack the Bone Trader."

While she works as a mercenary and general underworld gopher, Jack forms a relationship with a priest at the Stormwind Cathedral. Life is good for over a year for her.

Stealing From Nobles is a Bad Idea
Especially when you get caught. Eventually, her 'employers' catch wind of her doings, and Jack is forced to flee the city, cutting all ties with anyone she had come to meet for fear of them becoming embroiled in the nobles' wrath.

"I knew I was bein’ followed. That’s what happens when you work for Noble Houses. They get to thinkin’ you know too much bout how things work under their eaves and set to hirin’ someone meaner and tougher than you ta track you down. Course, findin’ their coffers a considerable bit emptier didn’t help either. I knew it wouldn’t be long till some chump came along, lookin’ to take my head back to the city. Northrend… now, that was one place ain’t no sane folk gonna follow me."

Northrend is Cold
Jack finds herself in Northrend, and quickly gets involved in the profitable fur trade. While ferrying furs, she is attacked by Scourge and nearly is killed, managing to dupe them by sacrificing her horse (who she is very attached to), and making a break for it. She is chased for days, unknowingly having stumbled into Scourge infested territory. As a last ditch effort, she attempts to find shelter at the Temple of En'kilah, unaware of what lay within. Her last living memories are seared in pain, screaming, and a dark hooded figure lifting her broken form from the ice and sinking its teeth into her shoulder. She awoke a death knight.

This was a great solution. Originally a rogue class as mentioned, I had lost Jack due to account problems (i.e. never share an account with a significant other unless you plan to marry them), so being able to remake her as a death knight made me a very happy girl.

Bone Trader?
Because she's a mercenary. And she's got like... bones and stuff. Bone shields. Ghouls.

... shut up!

Actually, it's how she proves she has accomplished her hit. By bringing back a piece of the target's skeleton. Kinda gross but Jack has never been squeamish! Me, though... bleh. ._.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Draenei. I loves them.

At one time or another, I have played every race Warcraft has to offer. Though, I only played a dwarf once to follow my guild mate around and annoy him with cries of "I needs meats! Boar ribs plz!?!?!?' She was a sort of two dimensional character... >_>

But I have to confess that my favorite are the Draenei. I really think a lot of roleplayers (and players in general) don't give these space squids the credit or richness of history they deserve. The common consensus seems to be that Draenei are like those crazy televangelists: all hot and bothered for the Naaru's Light and not much else. Furthermore, female Draenei really get the short end of the stick. Having become the 'sexy race du jour' these days, every wannabe sex kitten is dressing their Draenei in mageweave and strutting them around Stormwind and Goldshire.

Though I'll not deny the sexyness that is Draenei, I feel like players have taken a smart, independent, and driven college graduate, slapped a mini skirt on her, stuffed her brassiere with Kleenex, and slipped a few roofies into her drink before sending her off to a frat party. Of course there are lots of Draenei players who reflect the long-suffering and dignity of the their race well, but there are so many more who degrade their Draenei characters.

I guess this is to be expected, because I don't think a lot of roleplayers look deep into Draenei history. Even in the starting zone, you don't learn much beyond 'Yeah, we crashed this ship into this island. Some blood elves want to kill us. We have russian accents, and we hang out with floating stained glass windows.'

Draenei are the eternal underdogs, and that is why I love them. Without being tacky, they evoke the same thoughts as when I consider the Jewish nation. A people pursued for generations, their numbers slowly dwindling. Every time they think they find a safe haven, they are driven out of it.

Now that I think about it, there are lots of things about the Draenei culture to talk about. Too much for one post. So! I present to you:

DID YOU KNOW? Draenei.
  • Oshu'gun (you know, that chunk of crystal-ish stuff in Nagrand) was the ship the Draenei arrived on Draenor in. The Exodar was like the car they traded up for, except it turned out to be a lemon.
  • Shamans are a new addition into the Draenei culture, and not very accepted. All you have to do is hang around the shaman trainer at Azure Watch and you can witness this for yourself.
  • Velen was once pals with the infamous Archimonde and Kil'jaeden. All three were the triumverate leaders of Argus. He and 'Jaeden were so close that it is said "Kil'jaeden had loved Velen as a brother, closer than that, loved him almost as another aspect of himself."
  • Telredor is not just that giant mushroom settlement in Zangarmarsh. It was the last bastion of Velen and many of the surviving Draenei, hiding them while the corrupted orcs swept through the world. The draenei hid for decades, even during the shattering of Draenor. The quest givers there give the impression of shortages of food and supplies. It is easy to imagine that life there must have been very lean.
  • Through the manipulation of Gul'dan, the corrupted orcs were able to slaughter 80% of the draenei race over a period of about eight years. To put that in perspective, if you are a family of five on Draenor during this time, on average you have lost four of your relatives by the time the aggression faded. If you are a mother, this means your husband and three children.
  • Though the Draenei are sworn to aid the Naaru and fight the Legion, they are not ruled by piousness. They pursue their own interests like any other race.
It's easy to like the Draenei. Just remember that they are more than a funny accent and a race of a religious zealots. They have a deep, tragic history full of human drama, and a tendancy to pull themselves out of the ashes every time.

Monday, April 6, 2009

VeCo is for Fite!

Though I do have many alts on many servers, there is one server that holds a special place in my heart. Though it doesn’t have the most active roleplay or best progression, there is something about this little server that calls me back after long periods of traveling. The Venture Co. server is like the little town where everyone knows each other. Sure, the kids may transfer to the big city for awhile, but something keeps them coming back to the forums, and very often, back to the server. I guess big city life just isn’t as friendly. Or war-torn.

See, the one thing VeCo has in spades is World PvP. Now, how is razing some poor Horde town to the ground conducive to roleplay?? Simple! Because it is like hitting a hornet nest with a stick. Personally, I love war-oriented roleplay. Sure, it’s fun to wander around Silvermoon or Goldshire and have a few drinks, dodge a few lechers, and have a nice conversation here and there.

VeCo offers something more than that. Such as long-standing rivalries between Horde and Alliance RP guilds, who have skirmished each other for years. Planned, wide-scale battles that crash the server. There is great drama that presents itself in a world where you may get killed solely because of your affiliation. Where you have to protect your guild’s base of operations from frequent Horde attacks. Where you have to worry about new alliances your enemies might be making, and whether you should make alliances of your own to combat the threat.

Practical drama. That is my cup of tea. Sure, I can get into the fantastical storylines of demonic possession, ‘I was raped by a furbolg and now I’m pregnant’, love triangles, etc. If I have to. But if I can spend my RP time working with my guild mates to face a threat, or allying with other RP guilds on the battlefield for a skirmish that lasts a day… well, there is no contest in my mind!

So many people ascribe the term ‘World PvP’ to ‘I am a level 23 hunter being continuously ganked by a ?? death knight.’ Yes, sometimes that does happen. But the spirit of World PvP is much much more than that. I hate battlegrounds. I suck in arenas. But I love some old fashioned war. Even if I’m a horrible PvPer.

So if you are an RP’er who has yet to roll on a RP-PvP realm, you may find yourself just liking it. It’s a little harder to find open RP, yes, but there are several guilds that practice it. It’s likely that you will be ganked and camped, but you’re no sissy! You will probably have to turn off trade chat once or twice, it’s true.

But I’m sure you’ll find it a worthwhile experience. See for yourself!

Always a classic!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Orc Appreciation

While cruising the forum-verse, I ran across this thread (though I wouldn't recommend reading the whole thing, as it might make your brain explode), asking why it is that women find orcs attractive? I mean, they're slightly deformed, a little hunched over, possess slightly nauseating skin tones, and have a face only a mother could love. I mean cripes, look at those arms! They're like tree trunks! And hands the size of hubcaps! You wouldn't be going anywhere in an embrace like that.... and... those tusks... broad shoulders... Is it getting a little warm in here? No really. M-maybe it's just me?


Anyway. The answer is simple. Orc men are BADASS. You could run over one with a Mack truck and he'd probably get up, push the truck over, and beat up the driver. Orcs have no problem working hard all day... and hard all night :O

Oh dear. I am /blushing.

Other races do have their own merits and charm. Elves are sensitive, Taurens are... substantial. Humans. Hm. Gnomes are fun to run over with your mount. Orcs are the Clint Eastwoods and Hugh Jackmans (as Wolverine) of the WoWverse. Let us take this day to appreciate them for what they are: Coiled springs of muscle barely holding back a bestial nature.

Romance? Passé. Ravishing? Sign me up.